Cause Leader Alan Collidge Rallies Around Student Loan Bankruptcy Protection
Posted Nov 13, 2012 by Alejandro De La Cruz
Student loan debt surpassed credit card debt — a whopping 1 trillion dollars versus 962 billion dollars — earlier this year. Unlike virtually all other loans in the United States, student loans are exempt from bankruptcy protection. This is an issue cause leader Alan Collidge has been fighting to highlight in Congress since 2005. Earlier this year, he came across Causes.com and launched a petition asking Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois to draft legislation that would reintroduce bankruptcy protection for student loans. At more than 7,000 signatures, Alan is ready to forge ahead to the next level of his campaign.
This month, Alan is setting his sights on Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress, talk about his petition, and to rally offline support. In an interview last week, Alan described how his petition is a critical vehicle for his voice. “The most important thing to know about this problem is that unlike every other type of loan in the country, in the nation’s history, student loans are uniquely absent of the most fundamental consumer protections, including bankruptcy, truth in lending laws, refinancing rights, etc.” Alan is concerned that a lack of university oversight regarding tuition hikes, coupled with the escalation of student loans, will lead to a devastating financial future for the next generation of workers.
In September, Pew Research Center reported that 1 in 5 households in the United States owes student loan debt. It’s the highest percentage ever recorded and suggests that more households will be forced to find ways to pay off those loans. But what if they can’t? Alan believes that educating citizens one by one about their lack of protections will lead to a better understanding of their finances and propel them to raise their voices to legislators about reintroducing protection.
For now, the fight is tough. But Alan is optimistic. ”We’ve done six or seven petitions at this point on Change.org and the White House petition site, and we’ve been unable to garner more than one or two thousands signatures on any of those petitions up until we started working with Causes. I’m very hopeful today that when I go back to Washington D.C., I’ll actually have something with more weight to bring to Senator Durbin.”
Visit Alan’s petition page to learn more about Alan’s cause.